Phone calls, text messages, emails, web forms, live chat boxes. Today’s dealership receives leads from an array of consumer touch points that all have the same function: to drive the customer to make a positive response in the sales funnel.
It isn’t limited to just new car sales, however. These touch points are used to drive traffic to the parts and service departments, collision repairs, and of course, pre-owned vehicle sales also.
Dealers today invest thousands of dollars monthly into campaigns for all these consumer touch points, but how do you gauge their success? It isn’t like you can ask every customer what path led them to choosing your store as their provider.
Complicated Marketing Broken Down
What’s necessary for any retail or service-based industry like dealerships is a complete understanding of where their traffic comes from. While every marketing tool can be tracked and monitored individually – at least, at a high level – it’s extremely time consuming.
Aggregating touch point data can assist dealers in understanding where their customers are coming from. Was it an email that compelled them to respond or did they reach out with a phone call?
Kelley Koliopulos, Director of Regional Sales at CallSource, says, “[Dealers] can have a full spectrum of attribution, from the campaign to the keywords that are driving people to the store. [Shoppers] come to the website, a lot of times it looks like everything is coming from Google, but we can see those nurturing vendors that are helping them get to the website.”
And what should dealers do once their marketing techniques are broken down and the effective consumer touch points are identified? They’re able to adjust campaigns and media sources, copy and engagement to further increase that success. As well, it absolutely helps them better invest an advertising budget in the most profitable marketing methods for their store.
How to Identify Effective Strategies
Even with data from all marketing platforms funneled into one place, how can you tell what’s effectively driving traffic into your store? Imagine sifting through data from thousands of phone calls, emails, text messages, live chats, and beyond, trying to correlate the contact method with actual in-person traffic to your dealership. And which of those leads has received follow-up?
It’s not easy to sift through, if not near impossible.
Nicole Mirabelli, Director of Account Services at CallSource, says, “It can be data overload. There is so much available to the dealers. We can identify specific pain points and work with that person. They have a specific focus in mind and we can cut through the clutter for them and tell them exactly where they should focus their time and energy…and monitoring over time as well. It’s not going to be a quick-fix solution.”
Understanding which consumer touch points are most effective for your client base hinges on being able to interpret all that data into usable information. It’s a job that almost certainly requires a specialized skill set.
What are Current Trends Telling Us?
Phone calls and emails are still primary touch points for consumers, but it’s far from the only effective strategies. Text messaging is on the rise, according to Kelley.
“Text messaging is the fastest growing method that the customer wants to communicate with. We’ve done some case studies with OEMs where we saw just by taking and text-enabling the phone number on their website, they’ve seen a 20 percent increase in leads coming to their store.”
Text messaging is a growing touch point today, but it may not be next month or next year. It boils down to understanding the audience and growing your campaigns with them.
What the data tells dealers is this: you need to be adaptable; changing with your customers’ needs.